Iconic Festival Celebrating Ireland as the origin of Halloween Returns with a week of Breath-taking Nights of Light Spectacles, Music, Food & More
SLANE –ATHBOY – DROGHEDA – TRIM
23 – 31 OCTOBER 2021
– Púca festival returns with an extended programme and amazing locations
– For the first time Slane Castle will become a hub of mischief and magic this Samhain, the perfect experiential appetiser to an evening of comedy or live music in Trim or Drogheda.
– Four festival hubs – Slane Castle, Athboy, Drogheda and Trim – play host to Ireland’s best established and up and coming names in music, comedy, performance and spectacle
– The walls of Trim Castle will come alive after dark and the grounds of Slane Castle will play host to breath-taking installations
– Drogheda will see a star line-up of award-winning musicians, world class comedians and internet sensations take to the stage
– In Athboy local pubs and restaurants come alive during Púca festival
This Halloween the spirit of Púca returns bringing more mischief and merriment than ever before.
Púca festival is a spectacular, fun and otherworldly festival celebrating Ireland as the original birthplace of Halloween. In 2021 visitors from home and abroad are being welcomed back for a week of music and mythology, sideshows and standup, cabaret and cocktails, and everything else in between.
Vibrant and contemporary, yet strongly rooted in tradition, Púca festival will take place across County Meath and County Louth, from 23 – 31 October this yearand for the first time Slane Castle is being added to the location lineup, alongside the existing festival hubs of Athboy, Trim and Drogheda, each steeped in Samhain legend and tradition.
‘Púca‘ is typically a shape-shifting creature from Celtic folklore, a familiar character in Ireland’s narrative of Halloween, and in 2021 this mercurial spirit will turn the rock n’ roll surrounds of Slane Castle into a playground for the spirits.
As Samhain also marked the end of the harvest season, Púca festival embraces the enormous wealth and quality of the local produce on its doorstep, making food and drink another star in the show. From world class whisky, to award winning seafood, locally raised meat and natural honey, there is something to tickle every taste bud.
Púca festival has been developed by Fáilte Ireland (the National Tourism Development Authority of Ireland), in partnership with Meath and Louth County Councils, to claim ownership of this internationally celebrated event and to tell the story of the origins of Samhain, or Halloween as it is now known, in Irish and Celtic traditions, with a view to encouraging more international visitors to visit Ireland during October and November. Púca festival is produced by the award-winning festivals and events company, Curated Place.
Orla Carroll, Director Product Development in Fáilte Ireland said: “We are excited to welcome visitors back to Púca Festival this October to celebrate Ireland as the birthplace of Halloween. Festivals play a key role in delivering brilliant visitor experiences and providing visitors with a unique reason to choose a destination and with a distinctive programme of events from music and spectacle to food, there is something for everyone this year at Púca.”
This year, for the first time, Slane Castle will become home to the mischievous spirits of Púca, Boann, The Morrigan and Fear Dearg as they roam the woodlands and spectacular illuminations and installations bring the landscape to life.
A 1km walk through the grounds takes the audience past Stephen James Smith’s ‘Our Darkest Night’, surrounds visitors with Mark Anderson’s ‘Fireflies’, spooks with Matthew Nolan’s Samhain Whispers and wows with a special Halloween weekend performance by the aerialists of LUXE.
On hand to keep festival goers warm and satisfied will be a whole host of local food and drink producers, not least the team from Slane Distillery, who will be serving up a specially created Púca Punch to help wash down all the tasty treats on offer.
The Púca Festival town of Athboy is an important hub of Halloween tradition, with ancient manuscripts telling us that Tlachtga or The Hill of Ward was a site of great Samhain gathering. In 2021 visitors can experience the might and mythology of this ancient site via ‘The Tlachtga Experience’ hosted by Dr. Ciara Ni Crábhagáinwho is a local historian and Irish mythology expert.
Trim is an idyllic small Irish town surrounding a stunning medieval castle and this year ‘Awaken the Spirits’ will see the mystical Trim Castle illuminated in spectacular fashion, wowing all who pass and this specially commissioned display will light up the dark nights that lead up to Halloween. For those keen to go inside and learn more about the castle’s history, The Murder Hole Tours at Trim Castle with Cynthia Simonet is sure to open eyes and chill souls.
Part of the festival’s late-night offering, Trim Castle Hotel will play host to the hugely popular Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow. Jerry Fish is a shape-shifter, a showman and a songster and he and his eclectic and diverse group of performers will take over Trim Castle each night from the 29 – 30 October.
Drogheda is one of Ireland’s oldest towns flanking the River Boyne and in 2021 it acts as a backdrop for a whole host of daytime and evening events sure to tickle every tastebud. From ‘Candle Lit Tales’ storytelling sessions that bring folklore and fantasy to life, to music from the award-winning singer-songwriter Aoife Scottand internet sensation Jiggy, and not to mention late-night comedy offering from Joanne McNally, Drogheda is the perfect place for friends, or families this Púca festival.